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What's with the sourdough craze?

It seems that maybe there’s a new craze around sourdough bread, at least if the Internet is to be believed. I’d love hear from people who have started making sourdough (for any reason, or due to the COVID pandemic). What made you want to try sourdough? How did it go?

Kirk Torren Smith   8 months ago • @Kirk

…If I were to guess, the trend started for the same reasons the miners in the California and Klondike Gold rushes relied on it: once a culture is started, one needn’t rely on purchasing yeast. My grandparents always had a batch of starter cooking under the sink, and when my life was more conducive to such, I also continued the tradition. I always had pretty good luck with breadmaking in general (although experimenting with a breadmaker met with mixed results: for some reason it was common for the bread to come out kind of ‘tough’).

Christina Gilman   8 months ago • @Kitarlin

Under the sink? That's an unusual place to keep something folks are going to eat! I suppose it’s warm there…

I may have to give sourdough a try! Anyone have any tips or warnings?

Kirk Torren Smith   8 months ago • @Kirk

(…yeah, at my dad’s parents house, items that most might stow “under the sink” were kept elsewhere-both the cabinet that held the cleaning supplies and the general trash receptacle were in the back mud-room…under the sink resided a compost container, and on a split mid-shelf the sourdough container/grease can on one side, and dish rack on the other…they spent a lot of years in remote parts of Alaska, perhaps such habits came about from that experience?)

Christina Gilman   8 months ago • @Kitarlin

I’ve got a batch of starter going and have made my first loaf. It’s not particularly sour, although maybe that will come with time? I happened to have an envelope of “Goldrush” starter and a recipe from my bread book that used the starter and pieces of apple to get a starter that was ready to use in a couple days (instead of the week+ if I’d just followed the instructions that came with the starter). Most of the sourdough recipes in my bread book use starter and additional yeast, which is why I didn’t think of sourdough as a way to get bread to rise without purchased or refrigerated yeast.

My bread book, which is written for bread machines, generally wants additional gluten added to the dough. The author specifically says not to add gluten for the sourdough recipes, but I might add a little to my next loaf. Feedback from the kid suggests that a little lighter loaf would be appreciated.

Christina Gilman   8 months ago • @Kitarlin

Update: The full amount of additional gluten in a loaf with sourdough starter and an egg produces a fragile, excessively light loaf. Will reduce the amount of gluten next time. May also consider halving the amount of additional yeast.

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